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Is Your Organization Playing To Win?

Successful companies have a great offensive playbook. If all your energy and emphasis is on day-to-day operations, your organization is not set-up to win.

Football season is essentially over, unless you’re an Eagles or Patriots fan. This season has been a doozy of a dream crusher, or at least, that’s how it feels in my adopted hometown of Minneapolis. We’re hosting Super Bowl LLI after having lost the NFC Championship, which would have put the home team in the big game. It’s brutal and I’m not even a Minnesota fan. (GO PACK GO!) I read a quote somewhere that this is like hosting your ex-girlfriend’s wedding in your own backyard. Ouch.

As they say, there’s always next year and virtually every team is thinking about what needs to change to get it done. Which usually leads to the question: What wins championships?  Most analysts, the real ones and the ones that sit on the couch and eat potato chips, would say it’s the team’s defensive line. My experience is that most organizations are using the same playbook, but is that really the way to win? What about the offense?

We are living at a unique moment in history when rapidly changing technology is reshaping, well, everything. This is especially true for organizational leadership and the way business is done in the 21st Century. It’s a whole new game and it’s time to reconsider the plays.

If your organization waits until change is knocking at the door before taking action, it’s too focused on defense. For example, waiting until turnover rates reach unacceptable heights before considering employee job satisfaction.

The new playbook requires more of a focus on the offense. For organizations, that means having a future-focus. In her most recent book Talent Generation, XYZ University CEO Sarah Sladek calls companies that are future-focused, “The Changemakers”. While other companies are too focused on the day-to-day, Sladek says that, “The Changemakers spend a considerable amount of time thinking about change and preparing for the future.”

If you are spending all of your time and effort engrossed in the day-to-day operations, you’re playing defense. If you’re looking to the future to anticipate the change that is coming, then you’re working with a good offense.

What wins football championships? Popular opinion would say it’s the defense, but statistics would say that you need a good healthy balance of both. It is the same for organizations. You must have a healthy balance of managing the demands of the day, while also looking to the future.

It’s halftime, we’re in the locker room and this is your pep talk. Be a Changemaker and you will win this game! Now it’s time to get back out there, and I’m leaving you with this quote from Google Co-founder Larry Page, “Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.”

Now get out there and don’t miss the future!

Jodi Swee is XYZ University’s Youth Culture and Generational Engagement Expert. Book Swee for her most popular speaking topics and strategy workshops on Generations@Work, Like a Boss, and Knowing Y.

Purchase Talent Generation here.

More blogs by Jodi Swee.


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